An interview with frontman Mathias “Warlord” Nygård  prior to taking over the Pepsi Max Stage at Download 2013

Welcome back to Download Mathias, I remember your performance in 2011.

Thank you! I remember when we were here in 2011,  it was cold and it was tough as people were standing in the rain with their umbrellas…. It was also very wet on stage and  what I remember very vividly of that show is arriving on stage and then falling down very epically on my back.

But as the whole show was amazing,  I do not think that you falling is what people remember the most. Despite the heavy rain you brought the sunshine with your energy!

(Laughs) Thank you!

I know we do not have a lot of time as you are due to be at the Pepsi Max Stage soon: let’s talk about Turisas’ new album, the follow up to 2011 acclaimed Stand Up And Fight. Is there a release date?

To be honest I do not have a release date confirmed yet, I know it’s going to be released between August and September, pretty soon actually. Once again, it’s going to be a very different album. If you liked Stand Up And Fight..

… I did, beyond doubt…

Well  the new album is not going to be anything like Stand Up And Fight even though it’s going to be a very Turisas album. We never felt like redoing the same album over and over again, we wanted to sort of… finding new ways to express ourselves. This time we wanted to strip down all the outside elements such as the orchestra and focus more on the live aspect. I think that we are a very good live band so we decided to go for longer takes without too much editing while adding punk-rock elements.

That sounds really good! I am really looking forward to  listening to the new tracks. From the lyrics point of you, what inspired you the most in the making?

This was the first time in a long, long time that we isolated ourselves from the historical concept that was the core of Stand Up And Fight which started with The Varangian Way in 2007. This concept covered two albums so we felt that we finished that story and we wanted to move from there which was very inspirational. This time we just wanted to sit down and write songs and see what was going to happen: the new album is not going to be a strict concept album as it was in the past. The title is Turisas 2013  and this is basically to express what we are about today. We had some new flesh blood coming to the band with some line-up changing, the musicianship in the band has gone up, we wanted to feature more of this and less of the sort of layers and additional elements. I think it’s a very interesting album. Not having a concept this time allowed us to write more varied songs: every track has a story to tell but the stories are not connected.

What about visually, are you still showing your Turisas colours, red and black?

The colours have always been a very important part of the band. But we are always looking around for changes. This is the first show for us since we finished the new album: tonight we are playing a new song live for the first time which is kind of exciting  having something new to offer the our fans.

Would you say that it was a difficult process for you as a band, to come to terms with these changes in your sound?

We haven’t actively focused on dropping elements from the sound that made Turisas so far in order to do something else. It was a natural process for us since the release of our debut album Battle Metal in 2004. Now we simply felt we wanted to do something else without ever consciously running away from the past. We have always aimed at keeping the artistic interest alive in what   we do. I think this is the most important thing. So many bands today get to a certain level of popularity, where it’s all so nice and comfortable  that  they get scared to experiment artistically as they did on their debut album. It’s always important to evolve from album to album without going back to a trapping nostalgia.

I think this is a great way to introduce Turisas 2013, thank you Mathias. Hopefully after tonight’s show here at Download you will announce a tour.

We are going to play at festivals over the summer  and then we are starting a European tour in September together with Ensiferum around Central Europe, and then in October we are coming back to the UK to headline shows in London, Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham and Glasgow.

Fantastic! One last question before you go: is there any band you are looking forward to see as a fan, here at Download?

Unfortunately we are here only for the show and then we have to leave straight after, too bad we have no time to stay.

Fabiola Santini

Ph: Fabiola Santini (Download 2011 and 2013)


















Turisas Tour Dates:

September 20       Hellraiser –  Leipzig (D)

September 21       Hessenhallen – Giessen (D)

September 22       Trix – Antwerpen (B)

September 23       Bataclan – Paris (F)

September 24       Garage – Saarbrücken (D)

September 25     Heidenfest – Milano (I)

September 26       Docks – Lausanne  (CH)

September 27       Musichall – Geiselwind (D)

September 28       Backstage – Munich (D)

September29                Z7 – Pratteln (CH)

September 30       Markthalle – Hamburg (D)

October 01           Postbahnhof – Berlin (D)

October 02           Masters Of Rock Cafe  (CZ)

October 03           Heidenfest   – Wien (A)

October 04           LKA Longhorn – Stuttgart (D)

October 05           Turbinenhalle – Oberhausen (D)

October 06           O13 – Tilburg (NL)

October 08           Fleece, Bristol (UK )

October 09           O2 Academy Islington – London (UK)

October 10           Rock City –   Nottingham (UK)

October 11           Cathouse – Glasgow (UK)

October 12           Manchester Club Academy – Manchester (UK)